Uh-oh, look who wasn’t just all talk and kidding about making the playoffs this season. In a very short preseason for the NHL, the New York Islanders and John Tavares mentioned going to the playoffs this season. Was that a joke? I’m sure there were a few chuckles after Tavares mentioned Islanders and playoffs in the same sentence–these are the same guys that finished in 14th place last season.
Although it’s extremely early in the season to even talk about playoffs for the Islanders, they sure are off to a good start. They are 4-2-1 and tied for first place with the New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic Division. If they can keep up their level of intensity and focus it can happen.
And why not?
The Islanders have had several years to develop chemistry and form a solid nucleus. They have young, talented players that are getting the job done. With what we’ve seen from this team, so far, is the intensity they’ve been lacking the past few seasons; they’re ready to make a push for the playoffs, something they haven’t done since the ’06-’07 season.
They capped off an impressive 3-1-1 five-game road trip with a tough overtime win over the Devils. And that’s what good teams do, they find ways to win tough games, especially on the road.
With the Islanders special teams–cashing in on six of their last seven power-plays–and their confidence at an all-time high, teams can no longer take the New York Islanders for granted.